Top Tips for Managing Stress in the Workplace
Picture this. You’re winding down on Sunday evening after a relaxing weekend when you have a flashback of a task you forgot to tie up on Friday.
Sounds familiar, right?
Stress in the workplace gets the best of us. It’s often unavoidable, but when not recognised or managed properly, it can affect both your mental and physical health.
According to a recent survey conducted by CIPHR, 79% of adults feel stressed at least once a month, with one in five British workers claiming to feel stressed more days a month than not. While certain levels of stress are normal for some, high levels can have some serious consequences.
We’ve explored some ways to help you manage stress in the workplace.
Identify Your Stressors
Identifying particularly stressful situations will help you understand what is concerning you.
Common stressors could include:
– an overbearing workload
– concerns over job security
– poor salary
– lack of support from peers or supervisors
If certain triggers create added, unnecessary stress, you might start to experience symptoms such as headaches, rapid heart rate, poor sleep, sweating, or lack of confidence. Being able to recognise when and why you’re stressed is a good first step to helping manage your worries.
Try and keep a record of when you can feel yourself becoming tense. Ask yourself how you felt, what your reactions were, and whether there is something that could be done to minimise or avoid the stress next time.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel yourself getting stressed at work – whether it’s a direct result of work or not. Sometimes, just talking about a problem or an issue can help lighten the load. It can be a co-worker, HR or even a close friend.
Through talking to someone else, you may find they can offer advice towards your situation or perhaps they’ve been through something similar themselves and a certain technique worked well in helping them to cope. You may even be opening an avenue for them to feel safe to share their feelings too.
Establish Your Boundaries
Since the rise of flexible working, it’s becoming more difficult to disconnect from work. Identifying clear boundaries allows us to safeguard our time and energy and encourages us to distinguish a clear divide between work time and recharging time.
Lacking boundaries may cause an increase in your stress levels. Being able to say ‘no’ to something, or not being afraid to delegate a task doesn’t make you a bad person or employee; it proves you know your worth and your limits.
Knowing how to put up your metaphorical ‘do not enter’ signs allow for a more efficient work environment and will reduce the stressors you are experiencing.
Take Time to Recharge
Being busy all the time can leave you feeling exhausted and run down. Try breathing techniques, meditation, or mindfulness to help manage your stress and feelings. A few minutes each day practising these things can have instant positive effects.
Taking regular breaks during the work day will also play an important part in recharging, too. A short walk during your lunch break to get fresh air and screen-free time will allow your mind to have a bit of breathing space and will boost your productivity for the rest of the day.
Learn How to Prioritise
When you feel as though your attention is being pulled in every direction it becomes exceedingly difficult to focus on what’s important and keep your day moving forward productively.
Mastering the art of prioritising can be a challenge, but it can be a big help to manage your stress levels.
Having a to-do list in order of importance can make tasks seem more manageable and will help de-clutter your mind. You might find this also helps boost your motivation and productivity, too.
(If you’d like some more tips on how to prioritise when everything seems important, you can read our blog here.)
Trying some of our recommended tips can help alleviate feelings of workplace stress and can help protect both your mental and physical health in the long run.
For more advice on how to deal with stress in the workplace, we also recommend visiting Mind’s page on Work and Stress.